Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 6, 2009
Papal comments win support of Harvard researcher
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
ROME – A Harvard researcher said scientific evidence supports Pope Benedict’s contention that condoms increase the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Edward Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, said, “the best evidence we have supports the pope’s comments.”
Green said the centre had found “no consistent associations between condom use and lower HIV-infection rates, which, 25 years into the pandemic, we should be seeing if this intervention was working.”
“There is a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded Demographic Health Study, between greater availability and use of condoms and higher — not lower — HIV-infection rates,” he told National Review Online March 25.
Green said when an individual uses a condom thinking it will reduce the risk of exposure to HIV, that person may also take part in riskier behaviour and take greater chances than one would take without condoms.
Fidelity or reducing the number of sexual partners in one’s lifetime “is the most important single behaviour change associated with reduction in HIV-infection rates,” he said. Male circumcision is the other major factor in reducing the risk of HIV infection.